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226                             THE GAY GENIUS

secretariat, which was practically the vice-premier's office. The manner
of his appointment was rather curious, for the Empress had hin>
"escorted" by armed guards from his home right into his office. This
method was adopted for fear that, on receiving the appointment, he
might delay or decline to come.

Su Tungpo started out in June, for his post on the sea-coast of Shan-*
tung. From the neighbourhood of Tsingtao they took a boat, going
around the Shantung peninsula. Exactly five days after their arrival
at Tengchow on October 15, he was again recalled to the capital. The
family started moving again and arrived at the capital towards the
middle of December 1085,